It’s time to imagine. As the year of Covid-19 is passing into history endless possibilities come alive. Myanmar is waiting to be explored. For those who love the being lost in water, the Mergui Archipelago is being heralded as a new scuba diving haven. Start right here in Yangon to learn to scuba dive and with an International License, to then be free to dive around the world.
To dive deep under the ocean surface is no easy feat. In the swimming pool of Dive Subculture, lessons are given. Blow, share, float; essential skills to dive safely in the open waters. After obtaining a Certificate, a new world opens to explore places that few humans have been before.
“Untouched scuba diving sites are being explored throughout the Mergui,” said Hlwan Moe, Assistant Director, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Dawei. “The Mergui Archipelago is a unique marine ecosystem created by sea currents flowing from the Indo Pacific and India”.
“I’ve dived across the world but the Mergui Archipelago is an experience that I’d never had before,” said Torres Lonne, Scuba Instructor, DiveIn from his home in Denmark.
“I was swimming ten meters underwater near Clara Island and this school of shining, shimmering silver fish formed a ball around me. They swam in a circle till this laser fish bounded into the pack for the kill. Extraordinary.”
For professional divers there are generally golden experiences, to dive in isolation, separated from civilization, not a boat, not a human in sight.
“This is what we found on the southern tip of Myanmar. We sailed up from Thailand, where you’d swim with 20 people crowded onto 6 boats. At Clara Island in Myanmar there was no-one”, said Lonne.
To find the ideal location means weaving through isolated islands to locations that are free from overfishing, pollution or damaged from human indifference.
While diving is possible off the mainland from Ngapali down the Mergui, Kawthaung is considered Myanmar’s ultimate location. It’s also a place where conservationists are working relentlessly to conserve the reef environment.
The team from Boulder Bay Eco Resort has been working with divers and marine biologists to “discover the undiscovered”, more than 12 stunning new diving sites within a 30-minute boat ride from the Resort.
“It’s not just discovering new dive sites. We’re committed to an extensive marine conservation program. The resort currently employs experienced marine biologists to implement the coral restoration programs,” said Grigorios Ntarlantanis, Lagom Advice, who works with Boulder Bay Eco Resort. “This includes setting up coral nurseries at three different locations around the island, with equipment made from recycled fish traps.”
Myanmar is a nation of unknown adventures, and new divers are encouraged “join the pioneers riding the waves of tourism,” said Lonne.
(First published Myanmore)